We represent Angel Luster-Hoskins, who is 38-week pregnant woman detained in the Vermilion County Jail. Luster-Hoskins objected when jail officials attempted to coerce her into inducing her birth early, instead of letting her make her own decisions about the birth.
At a hearing in November 2022, a local Danville judge appointed a guardian ad litem for her unborn fetus, suggesting that the fetus was in need of protection. The appointment had not been requested by any party. It also contradicts the Illinois Supreme Court’s well-settled holding that a fetus does not have independent rights under Illinois law, which is also enshrined in the Illinois Reproductive Health Act.
Additionally, the Reproductive Health Act ensures the fundamental right for everyone to make their own reproductive health care decisions without interference, including those who are in custody of the state.
We asked the Illinois Supreme Court to issue an order vacating the Court’s decision impeding on Luster-Hoskins’ ability to make her own reproductive health care decisions under the Reproductive Health Act, and allows another party to interfere in Luster-Hoskins’ medical decisions.
In late November, Luster-Hoskins gave birth to her child, and was able to do so without government interference. In December, the Illinois Supreme Court dismissed our petition as moot. One justice did dissent, stating that the Court should take the opportunity to make clear that the appointment ran afoul of the law because the matter is important to the public interest.